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In the most recent posts we have discussed the importance of recognizing the type of conflict that arises (process, task, relationship) and managing this conflict based on the source of disagreement. However, being able to recognize conflict and manage it requires a fundamental understanding of your own behavior and how it influences others. This self awareness is crucial to optimizing your own performance. In the case, Sam has little self awareness of how a desire to impress others as the oncology consultant could influence behavior. Does part of Sam’s desire to “teach” stem from an internal desire to appear knowledgeable in a field of interest? Perhaps that internal desire contributed to the confusing conversation between Sam and Nina on the phone. If self awareness is so important, how can you cultivate it? The answer is, it takes a lot of self reflection and asking others for feedback. To get started: 1). Think about areas where you excel and those that you find more challenging and ask yourself why this is so 2) Ask trusted friends and colleagues what characteristics they notice about you; areas in which they see you shine and areas for improvement 3) Think about the environments or groups that you like to work in best- what about them do you like?